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WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 26, 2020 — In a lively affair full of movement, Marsala Hanover made the best move last en route to harness racing victory in Wednesday’s Meadow Cheer, a $206,133 Pennsylvania Sire Stake for freshman filly pacers, at The Meadows. Marsala Hanover zipped to the lead from post 7 for Scott Zeron only to see the three-wide Continualou overtake her before the quarter. That was the signal for Uptown Hanover to seize the point from fourth. Continualou attacked again with Marsala Hanover in tow — and all this before the half. When Marsala Hanover passed the hard-used Continualou, she was in front to stay, defeating Thebeachiscalling by 1/2 length in a career-best 1:52. Mackie Hanover rallied for show. Winning trainer Linda Toscano indicated that Marsala Hanover’s demanding trip concerned her at first. “That’s the first time we’ve really called on her,” Toscano said. “We’ve tried to protect her a little bit, and she’s been the beneficiary of great trips. Today she had to make her own trip. Scott used her hard, and she fought hard to the wire.” Zeron, however, said he never doubted the daughter of Captaintreacherous-Marinade Hanover would have enough in the tank. “She’s really a professional horse,” Zeron said. “I knew that I could leave with her and she would relax for me. I would have been content to sit behind Continualou, but the brigade kept coming. The way mine felt up the backstretch, I thought I would let her go her own speed and try to get command of the race. I didn’t think she’d give up, and she didn’t.” Marsala Hanover, who wrapped up a berth in the $260,000 PASS championship Sept. 5 at Pocono, now has earned $192,435 for owners Enviro Stables, South Mountain Stables, Little E LLC and Westminster Road LLC. $60,000 PA Stallion Series — 2-Year-Old Filly Pacers When Odds On Whitney’s big brother appeared at The Meadows July 25, all he did was fly to a world-record 1:47.1 in an elimination of the Delvin Miller Adios Pace for the Orchids. Alas, it was the final race in the career of Papi Rob Hanover, as a fractured coffin bone forced his retirement. But little sister upheld the family honor big time in Wednesday’s subfeature, as Odds On Whitney rolled home in a stake-record 1:51.3, shattering Brazuca’s former mark of 1:52.2. Fighting Evil was second, 5 lengths back, with Podium Girl third. Odds On Whitney                                                               --Chris Gooden photo Tim Tetrick had an opportunity to drop in third early with the daughter of Somebeachsomewhere-Panera Hanover, but he abandoned the cones after a few steps. “She was a touch on the aggressive side,” Tetrick said. “I thought she was the one to beat, so I put her where she could get there easiest. Her breeding says she has a lot of capability. She did it easily today.” Odds On Racing campaigns Odds On Whitney. The other stallion series splits went to Darby Hanover and Atomic Fireball. Darby Hanover began her career in sires stakes, but she has thrived in the stallion series, as she won her third straight leg and nailed down a spot in the $40,000 championship. Winning driver Zeron, who quarter-poled to the top with the daughter of Betting Line-Darena Hanover, said the shift has suited her. “She’s so comfortable in this class,” he said. “She’s been finishing strong, and that’s the thing you want most for a 2-year-old filly. I think the shift was the right move; hopefully it pays off next year.” Darby Hanover races for trainer Julie Miller and owners Andy Miller Stable and Caroll Huffman. The Meadows will host all eight stallion series championships on Monday, Sept. 7. Trainer Tim Twaddle collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows resumes Saturday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for freshman colt and gelding pacers — a $213,858 PASS and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event — as well as a $2,339.43 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 25, 2020 -- Trailing by 6 lengths at the half, Pace Baby Pace picked up life cover and exploded in the lane to capture Tuesday's harness racing feature at The Meadows, a $10,800 Filly & Mare Conditioned Pace. Things didn't look good for the even-money favorite when she got away towards the rear. But she advanced rapidly behind the liver cover of Summer Char, peeled of that cover through the final turn and scored for Ronnie Wrenn, Jr. in 1:50.4. Always Giggling was second, beaten a neck, with Touchamatic third in the Lightning Lane. Ron Burke trains Pace Baby Pace, a 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou-Breakheart Pass who lifted her career bankroll to $158,211, for Burke Racing Stable and Weaver Bruscemi LLC. Dave Palone and Burke each collected three wins on the 15-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the 15-race program features a pair of stakes for 2-year-old filly pacers -- a $206,133 Pennsylvania Sires Stake and a $60,000 PA Stallion Series event -- as well as an $846.93 carryover in the final-race Super Hi-5. First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WILKES-BARRE PA – Sister Sledge, last year’s Pennsylvania Sire Stakes two-year-old trotting filly champion, became the only horse in the classification to win two 2020 PaSS prelims when she took one of two $92,392 harness racing divisions of the final preliminary for this group in 1:52.4 on Tuesday afternoon at The Downs at Mohegan Sin Pocono. The Father Patrick filly let Next Level Stuff force SVF Blushingbride to take the two-hole going to a :27.2 quarter, then moved outside for driver Brian Sears and grabbed command in front of the stands. The pair hung up middle splits of :55.3 and 1:24.1, then coped with the late move of potential pocket rocket Next Level Stuff by a length. Ron Burke trains the winner of $728,849 for Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, Jason Melillo, and J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby. With the victory, Sister Sledge became her division’s final pointleader, and thus is now in a position to accomplish in her Championship (Philly, September 6) what only two other horses in the 27-year history of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes have achieved: be their group’s top pointwinner and Championship winner at both two and three. Unusually, both of these previous two were also trotting fillies: Coulatine in 2004-2005 and Frau Blucher in 2012-2013 (the latter winning her sophomore Championship in a dead-heat with archrival Classic Martine). The Muscle Hill filly Sweet Shirley Mae earned herself a spot in the Championship, being given a skillful drive by driver Andy Miller to work her way from between horses to go from last to first in the lane and take a new mark of 1:54.2. Sweet Shirley Mae, who had been third in her only other Sires appearance this year, won by a neck over first-over Fifty Cent Piece, who in turn photoed second-over Queen Of The Hill, who in turn photoed pocketsitter Sans Default. The Dominico Cecere-trained miss, owned by Moni Market Breeders, picked a good opportunity for her first victory since September 14 of last year at Lexington. The unofficial final pointtotals for this class (contact the PA Horse Racing Commission for the official standings) calculate to: Sister Sledge, Next Level Stuff, Fifty Cent Piece, Sans Defaut, Crucial, Dip Me Hanover, Queen Of The Hill, Sweet Shirley Mae, Solsbury Hanover, and Miss McKee and Whose Blues (tied). There were also three $20,000 divisions for this classification’s Stallion Series horses. Ron Burke will also have the likely favorite for this Championship as well, as his Muscle Hill pupil Dune Hill swept her preliminaries, winning her in 1:55.1 after racing three-wide a long way for driver Matt Kakaley, but nonetheless being handled confidently late. Dune Hill, owned by Joseph Di Scala Jr., will now look to join 2012 freshman trotting colt Smoother Ride and 2013 sophomore pacing colt Shock It To ‘Em (still the fastest StS Championship winner ever in 1:50.1) as the only horses in this competition to sweep their prelims and then take the final. The Muscle Massive filly  Miss McKee is in a unique position: she was 2-for-2 in the Stallion Series, including winning Tuesday in 1:55.1 as the pacesetter for driver George Napolitano Jr., trainer Jack Baggitt Jr., and J L Sadowsky LLC. But she also made two Sire Stakes starts and earned 35 points, tying her for tenth – you can’t declare for both, so does she take her spot in the Stallion Series final, or declare in the Sire Stakes, hope for good luck and slide into the rich Championship, or if not hope that a Consolation race fills? The other Stallion Series winner, Sweet Tea, broke her maiden in 1:56 with a big stretch rally after an exhausting pace for driver Marcus Miller, trainer Steven Brabrook, and owner Stephen Klunowski, but with only a fifth in her sole other StS appearance, she also is “on the bubble” to get in the Championship only if others go elsewhere. At least she repaid her scattered backers with a $111.20 win mutuel on Tuesday. The unofficial Stallion Series top ten pointearners are: Dune Hill, Alittlebitofsugar, Perth Angel De Vie, Witchey Woman, Margot, Hannah, Miss McKee, Aunt Bee, Syrinx Minx, and Queso Fresco.   PHHA / Pocono

WASHINGTON, PA, Aug. 24, 2020 —Hillexotic continued to make up for his lost freshman campaign, capturing his third straight race — all stakes — in Monday’s $187,932 Pennsylvania Sires Stake at The Meadows. Gangster Hanover took the other harness racing division of the event, known as the Hickory Smoke, for 3-year-old colt and gelding trotters. Winning driver Trond Smedshammer, who trains Hillexotic for Purple Haze Stables, indicated it wasn’t injury or illness that sidelined the son of Muscle Hill-Exotic Destination at 2. “Immature is not the right word, but he was fragile. You couldn’t do much with him,” Smedshammer said. “He just wasn’t ready to be pushed at all. I had him staked to the Hambo, and I thought he could have been that kind of horse, but he caught some kind of bug and wasn’t quite himself. He’s eligible for the Breeders Crown, so we’ll see. He should have some upside.” He looked anything but dainty in the Hickory Smoke, as he endured a parked-out opening panel and still drew off to triumph by 6-1/4 lengths in 1:53.3 Romanee Blue Chip and DD’s Redemption completed the ticket. Although the final preliminary PASS leg is set for next Monday at The Meadows, Smedshammer said Hillexotic, who pushed his career bankroll to $131,299, might skip that and rest for the $260,000 championship Sept. 5 at Harrah’s Philadelphia. Gangster Hanover also is on the rebound, coming back from what winning trainer/driver Ake Svanstedt described as a lung infection this past winter that delayed his sophomore debut until July 18. “He wasn’t so sharp his last race, but today he was sharp again,” Svanstedt said. “He’s a very good horse when he’s sound, so I hope he can stay sound now.” In the Hickory Smoke, the son of Father Patrick-Global Desire looked sound, indeed, reaching the point after a contested opening quarter and scoring in 1:54. El Ideal was second, 1-3/4 lengths back, with Chestnut Hill third. Gangster Hanover now boasts career earnings of $191,113 for Ake Svansted Inc., SRF Stable and Brittany Farms. The Hickory Smoke was something of a showcase for Svanstedt, who conditions five of the 11 sophomores in the field. $80,000 PA Stallion Series — 3-Year-old Colt & Gelding Trotters Shadrack Hanover, Kyrie Deo, Overserved and Saxon took divisions of Monday’s subfeature, with Matt Kakaley fashioning a stake double behind Shadrack Hanover and Saxon. With only two career starts under his belt, Shadrack Hanover might have been expected to object when he was parked out for most of the first three-eighths. But Kakaley said the son of Muscle Hill-Shared Past handled the adversity beautifully. “I drove him last week at Pocono, and he was really good,” Kakaley said. “He has a good attitude for sure. He hasn’t had many starts. I think he’ll keep getting better.” Ron Burke trains Shadrack Hanover for Elite Trotting. Chris Shaw and Kakaley each piloted three winners on the 15-race card. Elsewhere on Monday’s program, one lucky bettor took down the Super Hi-5 — correctly picking the five top finishers in exact order — worth $25,892.32 Live racing at The Meadows continues Tuesday when the 15-race card features a $5,000 total-pool guarantee for the Early Pick 4 (race 3) and a $1,408.48 carryover in the Early Pick 5 (race 2). First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

MEYERSDALE PA - Harness racing returned to the Somerset County Fairgrounds in this southwest Pennsylvania town for the first time since 1953 (a hurricane destroyed the barns after the '53 season) on Thursday and Friday, with many quick and outstanding performances from both the established and the rising stars of the Pennsylvania Fair circuit, appreciated by many fans who had never seen a harness race. The track surface, rated by many horsemen as potentially one of the fastest at the state's fairs with some work during the offseason, showed its ability to generate record miles on Friday afternoon, when the Better Caviar sophomore trotting filly Plumb tied the 17-year-old all-time standard for trotting at the state's fairs with an "A" level PA Fair Sire Stakes victory in 1:58.2. David Wade drove and trains the powerful filly, who equaled the fair trot mark set by Shark Kosmos at Gratz in 2003, and he co-owns her with Gerald Brittingham and William Peel III. On a card that yielded five 2:00 miles in all, the Captaintreacherous gelding Needham Hanover paced the fastest mile of the season on the local circuit, 1:56.2, in turning back Ginger Tree Larue. Shawn Johnston was in the sulky for owner/trainer Rich Gillock. Bipbopnallie remained undefeated in five fair starts with a 2:01.2 mile in heading a 1-2-4 finish in the "A" three-year-old colt pace for trainer Roger Hammer. Chris Shaw drove the Artspeak gelding for Leblanc Racing Inc., Count De Money Stable, and William Lutz Jr. Thursday's opening card was for freshmen, and a colt by A Rocknroll Dance - Miss Chinno, Rowdy Ryder, set the Somerset standard very high on Thursday when he paced the twicearound in 1:58.2 - becoming the first freshman to break 2:00 at the fairs this year. Roger Hammer is the owner/trainer/driver of the quick baby who won in the sole "A" division. On the pacing filly side, it was again time for an "A" sweep by the team of driver David Brickell and trainer Mitchell York, who co-own the two winners. The Betting Line - Lazan Hanover miss Lazy Day Hanover became the winningest freshman filly in North America when she pushed her fair record to 8-for-8 in a 2:06 mile, while another daughter of A Rocknroll Dance, Tiamogonedancen (dam Tiamo), pushed her fair scorecard to 5-for-5 in 2:01.2. The two-year-old filly trotter section saw an "A" sweep by trainer Rick Beinhauer, co-owner of both with Regina Beinhauer, and sire Explosive Matter: Explosive Flower (dam Seeuinthespring), who tallied for driver Brady Brown in 2:08.2, and From Now On (dam Focus On Me), home in 2:09.2 for driver Shawn Johnston. The Southwind Frank - Wheely Quick trotting gelding Killer Instinct posted his fifth straight win, including a Stallion Series triumph, in a race where no time was recorded. Brian Zendt drove the consistent youngster for trainer Bob Rougeaux III and the ownership of Brocious Racing Stable Inc. and Lone Wolf Stable. Shawn Johnston was the leading driver for the meet with a total of six victories; Roger Hammer sent out five victorious pupils to lead his category. The fields are already drawn for PA Fair Sire Stakes racing at Dayton on Sunday and Monday at 1 p.m. Pennsylvania Harness Horsemen's Association, Meadows Standardbred Owners Association, and Pennsylvania Fair Harness Horsemen Association partnership

CHESTER PA – The leader pro tem of the Pennsylvania-sired three-year-old pacing fillies may not have been in attendance at Harrah’s Philadelphia Friday afternoon, but the two four-horse fields that chased after $93,142 in each division of the Sire Stakes’ fourth and final preliminary leg put on a pair of spectacular  shows for harness racing fans and horsemen alike. The Captaintreacherous filly Rocknificent had been entered to go Saturday at Mohawk in addition to being drawn into the Sire Stakes; she withdrew from the Canadian race Friday morning and turned up at Philly, and then she went an epic mile, defeating Lyons Sentinel by a neck in 1:50.2 after a fierce stretch battle. Rocknificent drew the innermost post and put up soft early fractions of :28 and :57, and then driver Scott Zeron asked her for more as Lyons Sentinel came from last in the short field, reaching the three-quarters in 1:24.1. Through the stretch the two top fillies dueled, with both going their utmost, and Rocknificent having just a little bit more for trainer Linda Toscano and the ownership of Enviro Stables LTD, South Mountain Stables, and Little E LLC. Rocknificent blitzed her back half in :53.2 - :26.1; Lyons Sentinel, who would have gone over $1 million in career earnings with a victory, was tremendous in defeat, as she came her back numbers, raw, in :52.3 - :26. How do you follow an act like that? By smashing a 10-year-old (minus two days) divisional track record by 4/5 of a second, and JK First Lady did just that in drawing off to a 2¾ length victory over pacesetting New Year in 1:49.2, lowering the previous 1:50.1 Philly (then Chester) standard of Put On A Show by almost a second. Driver Andrew McCarthy made his move late with the daughter of Western Ideal out of Horse of the Year JK Shesalady, and the “First Lady” went into overdrive when shown racetrack, motoring home in :53.4 - :26.4 while scoring for trainer Nancy Takter and the 3 Brothers Stable.   A quick unofficial calculation of the Sire Stakes pointstandings (contact the Pennsylvania Horse Racing Commission for all official tallies) gave this listing of the top ten: Rocknificent, Lyons Sentinel, Party Girl Hill, JK First Lady, Alexis’s Beach, Drama Act, Baby You’re the Best, New Year, Dance Club, and Shouldabeenatd (scratched Friday). Eight will face the starter at Philly on Sunday, September 6 in this group’s Sire Stakes Championship, while there will be two programmed also eligibles. There were also five $20,000 Stallion Series divisions for this class, and they were important in determining who will go in the Stallion Series Championship, which will be held at The Meadows the day after the Harrah’s Philadelphia Championships. As in the Sire Stakes, no filly won in all four preliminaries, but Going Gone Hanover and The Bethinator marked themselves as the fillies to beat by notching three wins and a second. Andy McCarthy, a three-time stake winner on the afternoon as he continues an August to remember, made a tough two-move trip work for Going Gone Hanover, with the Captaintreacherous miss stepping her own back half in :53.3 to draw clear and take a new mark of 1:51 for trainer Brett Bittle and Yankeeland Partners LLP. The Somebeachsomewhere filly The Bethinator found a foe to each side of her as she approached the wire, but she maintained an advantage to the line, stopping the timer in 1:52 for driver Tim Tetrick, trainer Brett Pelling, and Megan Rogers Racing Stables Inc. Caviart Heather went first-over and came out second, a half length behind the winner and winning a photo over inside-charging Martinique Beach. Double StS winners McCarthy and trainer Nifty Norman paired to produce the fastest Stallion Series winner, the Captaintreacherous miss Marloe Hanover, who used track geometry from the rail and fronted her field throughout, winning in 1:50.4 with a back half in :55. Marloe Hanover, now a career winner of $346,259, is owned by Pinske Stables, David Hoese, and Dr. Bridgette Jablonsky. Trainer Norman’s other victorious charge was the Somebeachsomewhere miss Annabelle Hanover, who was moved to the lead in front of the stands by driver Dexter Dunn and won unthreatened in 1:52 while boosting her earnings to $159,903, with Lawrence Means and Curly Tall Curly Small partnering with double StS winner Pinske Stables. Hall of Fame driver David Miller got the 12,999th driving win of his career when he guided the Sweet Lou filly Blazin Grace to a new mark of 1:51.4 after racing on the lead throughout for trainer Brian Brown and the ownership of Country Club Acres Inc., Joe Sbrocco, Rich Lombardo Racing LLC, and L & H Management Services. Miller will be back in action Friday at Harrah’s Philly, where the milestone #13,000 will hopefully not elude him for very long. The quick unofficial reckoning of the Top Ten in the Stallion Series reads: Going Gone Hanover and The Bethinator (tied), Alexa Skye, Martinique Beach, Dream Dancing and Keystone Eureka (tied), Cowgirl Lilly, Run Deo Run, Wayside, and a three-way tie for tenth among Anthem, Ashtini, and Enduring Hope. (How tight is this division? Three of Friday’s winners, and all five second-place finishers, are NOT in the list above!)   PHHA / Harrah’s Philadelphia

WILKES-BARRE PA - A trio of $14,000 events for fast-class horses highlighted the Saturday afternoon harness racing action at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono. In the single trot, Mississippi Storm got some racing luck when, sitting fourth-inside late backstretch, the two- and three-holers moved outside to challenge, allowing him to use the Pocono Pike and power through to a new mark of 1:52, beating out Lord Cromwell by a length. The Cantab Hall gelding, a winner of $331,788, was driven by Anthony Napolitano for trainer Tom Fanning and owner Joseph Smith. The photo finish camera was needed to determine the winner of the two pacing headliners. In the first, the Roll With Joe gelding Joesstar Of Mia A was parked to a hard 3/8 by War-N-Munn before making the lead, then had to be game to repel that one's inside stretch charge, winning by a neck and earning a new speed badge of 1:50; Ohio shipper Our Corelli N, who may have been in the Buckeye State going to the ¾, was in overdrive late to be another neck back in third. A winner of $208,394, Joesstar Of Mia A was handled by the hot-driving Simon Allard for trainer Steven Brabrook and the ownership of Jonathan Lapp Jr. and Wish Me Luck Stables LLC. Perennial Pocono sulkysitting leader George Napolitano Jr. kept the Art Major gelding Alluneedisfaith N rolling on the front end, with Twin B Tuffenuff flying up the Pocono Pike but coming up a head shy at the end of the 1:50.4 mile. Alluneedisfaith N now has banked $307,673, with Nifty Norman training the game winner for the Robert Cooper Stables LLC. FINISHING LINES - Pocono will host Pennsylvania Sire Stakes action (and its companion Stallion Series races) the next three cards: the undefeated Party Girl Hill and 2019 champion Lyons Sentinel top the three-year-old pacing fillies Sunday; Grace Hill, 2-for-2 in the Sire Stakes, heads the two-year-old pacing fillies Monday; and Allywag Hanover has the highest profile among the hardhitters in three-year-old pacing colt action Tuesday. PHHA / Pocono

WILKES-BARRE PA - The Sportswriter mare Kendra N teamed with harness racing driver Jordan Stratton to take advantage of a wild front-end battle in the $17,200 mares harness racing pacing feature on the Sunday twilight card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, closing the best of all to take a new mark of 1:51. Summer Charm was sent to the lead early and hit the quarter in 26; favored Bettor Joy N attempted to quarter-move but was given the cold shoulder by the pacesetter into a strong wind, and with Shecandance N keeping the pocket tight, the raging duel took the front of the field by the half in a punishing :53.2. Dibaba N, who had gapped behind the fast early fireworks, got in gear down the backstretch and swept the embattled front horses going to the 1:21 three-quarters, with Kendra N hot on her tail. Kendra N was left uncovered on the far turn, but she had by far the most energy left late, winning by 4½ lengths over a resurgent Summer Charm, with Dibaba N third. Kendra N is now 5-3-1-1-$35,997 since being imported from New Zealand by trainer Peter Tritton and the Vonknoblauch Stable LLC, and she may be making her way to even higher company soon. If the feature race was hotly-contested early, the $14,000 distaff co-feature pace was a cavalry charge late, with the first seven separated by less than two lengths at the finish. The American Ideal mare Topville Angelina grinded uncovered into a :56.1 last half to emerge most photogenic in 1:53.1 for driver George Napolitano Jr. and trainer/owner Gilbert Garcia-Herrera.   PHHA / Pocono

Chester, PA — Warrawee Ubeaut ($17.00) asserted herself against some of the heavy hitters in the distaff pacing division and This Is The Plan ($4.20) held his ground amid late pressure, giving harness racing trainer Ron Burke and driver Yannick Gingras a sweep of the twin $20,000 winners-over pacing features on Sunday (Aug. 2) at Harrah's Philadelphia. After making her presence felt but ultimately struggling on two occasions against male competition in the Graduate Series, Warrawee Ubeaut sprang back to life with a sharp 1:49.2 win in the distaff split. Gingras sent the 4-year-old daughter of Sweet Lou to the lead from post four, and the pair travelled uncontested through splits of :26, :54.3 and 1:22.1 before opening up her lead on the final turn. Despite late pursuit from 3-10 favorite Soho Burning Love A (Tim Tetrick) — the highly-regarded stablemate of champion Shartin N — Warrawee Ubeaut maintained her clearance up to the winning post, sprinting home in :27.1 with much in reserve to win by 1-1/2 lengths. Soho Burning Love A reached second over Machnhope (Pat Berry), who only managed a one-paced finish from the pocket. Warrawee Ubeaut recorded the 20th win of her career for the Burke Racing Stable, Phil Collura, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Weaver Bruscemi. This Is The Plan employed similar front-pacing tactics for a 1:50 score in the male split after an even but traffic-troubled effort two weeks ago in the William Haughton Memorial. The 5-year-old Somebeachsomewhere gelding used a :26.3 quarter to clear Turbo Hill (Joe Bongiorno), and Gingras was then able to rate a :56.1 middle half with This Is The Plan before facing a stern threat from Western Joe (George Napolitano Jr.) on the final turn. Not only did This Is The Plan parry the lasting challenge of Western Joe to the line, but he also staved off the inside bid of eventual runner-up Turbo Hill to prevail by a driven neck. This Is The Plan, now an 11-time winner, campaigns for the Burke Racing Stable, Weaver Bruscemi, J&T Silva-Purnel & Libby and Larry Karr. Burke and Gingras additionally teamed up with Gingras Beach ($12.40, 1:52), and Burke went on to register his fourth training win on the 14-race program with The First Step ($13.40, 1:50.4), who was driven by George Brennan. Favorites were upended in all four races in the Pick-4 sequence, resulting in a $3,175.65 dividend on a 50-cent base wager. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia with a 15-race card on Wednesday (Aug. 5), featuring two $103,000 divisions of the Pennsylvania Sire Stakes for 2-year-old trotting colts and geldings, as well as a $17,367.57 carryover in the fifth-race Jackpot Hi-5. Post time is 12:25 p.m. Eastern.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

WILKES-BARRE PA – Over a surface that had improved from “sloppy” to “good” to “fast” by the time the $14,000 featured mares pace took to the track on the Sunday twilight harness racing card at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, Baron Remy showed no rust after 3½ months away from the races, going on to a 1:51.2 victory. Andrew McCarthy made a three-wide move late on the backstretch with the Yankee Cruiser mare to gain contention after a fast pace, and Baron Remy was more than equal to the challenge, getting to two-wide on the turn and then proving her superiority late. The Ron Burke trainee, owned by Burke Racing Stable LLC and Weaver Bruscemi LLC, J&T Silva- Purnel & Libby, and Larry Karr (who had his namesake horse win at Philly earlier in the day), now sports earnings of $629,122. A couple of three-year-olds marked themselves as ones to watch while the track was still “sloppy.” Right now the Captaintreacherous filly Party Girl Hill must be thought of as “ceiling unlimited,” as after coming home in :53.2 and :53.1 in Meadowlands qualifiers and then winning her purse bow in 1:50.2 - :52.4 - :26, Party Girl Hill was sent to Pocono by trainer Chris Ryder and handled the stepup from “nw1” to “nw4” with aplomb, dominating her field in 1:52.4. Jim Morrill Jr. guided the developing miss to an easy victory for owner Tom Hill. The Yankee Glide colt Hell Patrol seems to be finding top form at a good time, as he was guided to the top by Mattias Melander and rattled down the road in a 1:55.1 mile. Yet another in the seemingly-endless line of quality diamondgaiters from the barn of Marcus Melander, Hell Patrol is owned by Courant Inc.   PHHA / Pocono

Chester, PA -- After tasting defeat in his first two races of 2020, Our Max Phactor N ($8.40) put it all together in Sunday's (June 28) featured harness racing event at Harrah's Philadelphia, a $14,400 top-level conditioned pace. While the 8-year-old Art Major gelding employed similar tactics as he did in a narrow defeat to Prairie Panther at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono on June 20, the outcome proved far more favorable. George Napolitano Jr. used Our Max Phactor N early from post five to secure the pocket behind 12-1 pacesetter Imarocnrollegend N (Joe Bongiorno), and the pair were content to draft behind stout early splits of :26.3 and :54.4 before angling out of the pocket on the backstretch. Our Max Phactor N worked to the lead with five-sixteenths to go, pressed on to a widening advantage past three-quarters in 1:21.3, and braced for a late push from odds-on favorite Dealt A Winner (David Miller) off the final turn. Straightening for home, Our Max Phactor N had built up a two-length lead, but Dealt A Winner lifted boldly off cover and closed stoutly in the final sixteenth. Our Max Phactor N responded to the challenge, prevailing over Dealt A Winner by a diminishing half length in 1:50.1. Love Me Some Lou (George Brennan) finished third, 2-1/4 lengths farther back, after levelling off at head-stretch. Trainer Andrew Harris co-owns 26-time winner Our Max Phactor N with Michael Goldberg Racing LLC, Bruce Areman and the Prem Dan Stable. Trainer Ron Burke scored a hat trick on the 14-race card, sending Seeing Eye Single ($4.80, 1:52.2), Mayfield Duke ($9.00, 1:52.4) and Larry Karr ($3.00, 1:50.3) to victory. Yannick Gingras drove all three. David Miller earned top honors among drivers with four winners on the program. Live racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday afternoon (July 1), with Pennsylvania Sire Stakes and Stallion Series action for 2-year-old pacing fillies headlining the 14-race program. First post is 12:25 p.m. Eastern. by James Witherite Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

CHESTER PA – Trainer Tom Fanning, driver Tim Tetrick, and owner Joseph Smith combined to win the two fast-class harness racing events during the “Trottin’ Thursday” card at Harrah’s Philadelphia, while a few younger horses showed themselves ready for stakes action with convincing victories. The top purse event was a $14,400 event taken by the Cantab Hall gelding Mississippi Storm, whom Tetrick put on the lead at the quarter and went on to a handy 1:54 victory, with Morairtime second and favored Trolley third behind the victorious winner of $315,724 for Fanning and Smith. In the co-feature, the engine also provided the path to success for the Trixton gelding No Drama Please, who came in for some drama at the three-quarter pole when Perfect Stick made a big uncovered move to draw even, but the pacesetter shook off that one’s challenge to take a new mark of 1:53.2 and boost his bankroll to $242,676 for Team Fanning/Tetrick/Smith. In a showdown between two quality three-year-old trotters, the filly Shishito made her first start of the year a winning one, heading right to the lead and holding off the outside challenge of the colt Capricornus in 1:53.3. The earner of $246,912 was driven by Dexter Dunn for trainer Per Engblom and the ownership of Black Horse Racing and John Fielding. Another sophomore trotting filly making a winning bow in 2020 was the Sebastian K S miss Next Level Stuff, who tucked early, followed up second-over, then had strong trot in the stretch to stop the timer in 1:54.2 while raising her earnings to $172,255. Tim Tetrick had the winning steer for trainer Jim Campbell and the Runthetable Stables. The two-year-old pacing fillies made their pari-mutuel bows, and the Roll With Joe – Lorrie Please baby Easy To Please certainly stamped her name in many observer’s memory, holding off the impeccably-bred (Always B Miki – JK She’salady) JK Alwaysbalady easily. The real eye-opener was the timer – after Easy To Please made the lead and strolled to the half in :59.3, she then blitzed home in :54.4 - :27.1 – in her first purse start – to complete a 1:54.2 package. Allan Davis drove the fast filly for trainer Michael Hall, also co-owner with the CTC Stable and the Our Three Sons Stable LLC.   Jerry Connors

WASHINGTON, PA, June 23, 2020 -- Icanflylikeanangel flew to a front-end victory in a career-best 1:53 in Tuesday's $17,900 Open Handicap Trot at The Meadows. After the winner was pressured to a demanding 26.4 opening panel, Mike Wilder was able to give him a 29.3 second-quarter breather. With that, the 6-year-old Archangel-Fox Valley London gelding easily thwarted the first-over challenge of Rising MVP and downed the pocket-sitting Lady's Dude by 2-3/4 lengths. Classicality finished third. Randy Bendis trains Icanflylikeanangel, who now boasts career earnings of $361,116, and owns with Pollack Racing LLC. Ronnie Wrenn, Jr., trainer Ron Burke and Wilder each collected a pair of victories on the 13-race card. Live racing at The Meadows continues Wednesday when the program features a $1,748.20 carryover in the Pick 5 (race 2) and a $1,156.29 carryover in the Super Hi-5 (race 13). First post is 12:45 PM.   By Evan Pattak for The Meadows Standardbred Owners Association

WILKES-BARRE PA - Tuesday marked the first time in 2020 that harness racing two-year-olds went before the bettors at The Downs at Mohegan Sun Pocono, with paces for both sexes offered. The Always B Miki - Jan It Jackson colt Billy Clyde, a half-brother to Semi Tough, won his pari-mutuel debut in 1:55.4 after posting a 1:55.1 clocking in a Meadowlands qualifier. Mark MacDonald moved the freshman to the front passing the stands, rated the pace to the three-quarters, then rushed the colt home in :27.4 for trainer Ray Schnittker, who is also co-owner with Dr. John Egloff. Heading the fillies section was Bossy Linda, a daughter of Roll With Joe - Ideal Ginny (a full sister to four $450G+ winners), who went to the top and stayed in command with some Marcus Miller reminding in 1:56, bettering her 1:57.4 time posted in her initial outing in a Wingate Farm qualifier. Marcus's father Erv Miller is developing the baby nicely for owners D R Van Witzenburg and George Golemes. Most impressive among the "older set" was Caliber, who won off a familiar pattern - a Ron Burke trainee in his seasonal debut after a useful qualifier. Driver Matt Kakaley, who had four wins during the program, occasionally had to remind his charge to stay in high gear, but Caliber certainly did that, lowering his mark to 1:50.4 with a :55.1 back half. A sophomore gelding by Sweet Lou out of world champion Allstar Rating (his third dam is also a world champion, Delinquent Account), Caliber appears to have good things in front of him for Diamond Creek Racing.   PHHA / Pocono

CHESTER PA - With the start of the harness racing stakes season for two-year-olds swiftly approaching, some talented freshmen were out for preparatory action at Harrah's Philadelphia on Tuesday morning. On the pacing side, driver Allan Davis and trainer Mike Hall shared honors with driver Tim Tetrick and trainer Jim King Jr., as both duos had two filly wins and a colt victory. Davis/Hall had the fastest winner on each sex, with 1:56.2 miles, the first coming with the Always B Miki - Barbuda Babe gelding Grand Cayman, who made a break in his first outing but minded his manners in a 1:56.2 wire-to-wire win with a :28 last quarter. Hall co-owns the freshman with CTC Stable and Howard Taylor. King/Tetrick kept pace among the males with the Sweet Lou - Aries Angel colt Sweet Angel Boy, home in 27.4 in a 2:00 tally for owner Jo Ann Looney-King. Fastest among the fillies on the sidewheeling gait was the Somebeachsomewhere - Arrivista Hanover miss Waterboard, who made two moves in going on to the 1:56.2 victory for Davis/Hall, the latter co-owner with Let It Ride Stables Inc. and CTC Stable. Hall and CTC teamed up for a third two-year-old win with the Roll With Joe - Grizzly Mama miss Roll On Mama, who moved to the lead in the front of the stands and went on to a 1:57 victory, with back fractions of :56.3 and :28.1 under Davis's tutelage. Tetrick/King countered, first with Somebeachsomewhere - Bettor Than Silk distaff Lyons Softassilk, who closed from far back in :27.2 to win in 1:57.1 for Threelyonsracing, and then with 1:56.2 winner Sniper Hanover, a daughter of Captaintreacherous - Snippet Hanover who became the only baby of the day to post a second qualifying win. Jo Ann Looney-King co-owns this promising baby with Tim Tetrick LLC. The Jim Campbell barn finished first in both events for young trotting males, with Jeremy Morrison guiding both two-year-olds to the wins. Take All Comers, a Creatine - Nantab colt, went wire-to-wire in a 1:58.3 win for Runthetable Stables; the Muscle Hill - Cocktail Hour colt Cricket Fashion raced behind slow fractions, then came on to win in 2:05 for Fashion Farms LLC. Fastest two-year-old trotting filly was the Explosive Matter - La Boheme miss Lexa Hanover, who threw successive :29.1 back quarters for the 2:00.1 victory for driver Corey Callahan, trainer Steve LeBlanc, and the partnership of LeBlanc Racing Inc., Douglas Johnson, and Glenn Dyke. A final qualifying note: the Googoo Gaagaa sophomore trotting colt Yall Beneath Me was undefeated in seven Maryland stakes starts at two - by a combined margin of 133¾ lengths, or an average of just over 19 lengths per race. Yall Beneath Me won at first asking at three for driver Russell Foster and owner/trainer Richard Hans - but was only 11½ lengths clear of the field at the end of his 1:57.2 victory.   PHHA / Harrah's Philadelphia

Chester, PA -- Alluneedisfaith N ($4.60) patiently rode along in the pocket before pouncing at head-stretch and dueling down Love Me Some Lou for a 1:50.2 victory in the opening day (Sunday, June 21) feature at Harrah's Philadelphia, a $14,400 top-level conditioned pace. The 6-year-old Art Major gelding and driver George Napolitano Jr. strode clear from post three and controlled a :27.3 opening quarter before ceding command to Love Me Some Lou (David Miller), who brushed from third off the first turn. Alluneedisfaith N was content to draft behind Love Me Some Lou through middle splits of :56 and 1:23.2 before emerging off the home turn to reengage Love Me Some Lou, who refused to back down. Alluneedisfaith N dug in to prevail by three-quarters of a length, while Love Me Some Lou remained a clear runner-up, 1-3/4 lengths better than the chasing Ana Afreet N (Tony Morgan). Ross Croghan trains 16-time winner Alluneedisfaith N for the Robert Cooper Stables LLC. The featured win was one of four on the day for Napolitano, whose driving grand slam was matched by Jordan Stratton. Racing returns to Harrah's Philadelphia on Wednesday (June 24), with a 14-race card slated for a 12:25 p.m. first post.     by James Witherite, Harrah's Philadelphia racing media

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